The Apothecary Diaries – Season 1 Episode 18 Recap & Review


Episode 18 of The Apothecary Diaries begins where we left off in episode 17 with Maomao informing Jinshi that getting a courtesan pregnant is the ultimate way to decrease their value. Afterward, Maomao departs and Jinshi heads into the building he wanted to attend. Then, Maomao has a nightmare and wakes up from it. 

In the nightmare, we see a man trying to stab her when she was an infant. Luomen asks Maomao if she can go to the Verdigris House to complete something for him. Pairin spots Maomao and greets her. Then, Pairin and Old Granny argue briefly, giving Maomao a chance to flee the Verdigris House. 

Old Granny spots Maomao and Pairin wonders if she’s visiting the annex. Maomao visits a woman at the annex. As she prepares something for this woman, Maomao reflects on that person’s illness and believes she’s gotten worse over time. Maomao gives this woman her father’s medicine but feels it’s only providing her with a temporary solution. 

Then, we briefly receive a scene of a Verdigris House worker informing Old Granny that their usual male customers arrived. Old Granny tells her male worker that she’ll inform Meimei that he’s here. Back to Maomao, she reflects on Verdigris House’s reputation over the years and how this courtesan she’s treating caught syphilis from one of her clients in the past. 

Moreover, Maomao says Luomen arrived at the Verdigris House and wanted to treat this woman properly. Yet, due to his sudden arrival status, no one at the Verdigris House trusted him. With no treatment in sight, this courtesan continued working and her illness kept spreading, resulting in her getting locked up in the annex. 

Maomao says most courtesans get tossed aside when they’re incapable of providing the Verdigris House with profit, so she finds this courtesan’s results interesting. Before Maomao burns some incense, a girl arrives at the annex. She informs Maomao that Lakan’s here and that Maomao should stay away from him. 

Maomao knows Lakan is a frequent yet strange Verdigris House customer. She spots the courtesan placing pebbles on her bed and finds her activities questionable. Later, Meimei arrives at the annex and tells Maomao that Lakan’s departed. Meimei and Maomao go for a stroll and discuss Lakan, Old Granny, and the Verdigris House’s principles. 

While bating, Meimei reveals she’s getting older and Maomao questions when Meimei plans to retire from her courtesan career. Meimei tells Maomao she wants to continue working as a Verdigris House courtesan for a while longer. Maomao wonders if Meimei’s in love and proceeds to ponder her abandonment of that human emotion.

Afterward, Jinshi and Gaoshun greet Maomao somewhere in the outer pavilion. He hands Maomao a souvenir he received from a “weirdo.” He wants Maomao to deliver it to Suiren. Maomao tells Jinshi she’ll give it to her and returns to work. Later, Suiren tells Maomao they’ll be having a vegetarian feast tonight and informs her that she cannot eat meat or fish. 

Suiren notices Maomao’s losing focus and snaps her out of her trance. Maomao was busy pondering the annex courtesan’s status. Suiren tells Maomao to ask Jinshi if she can place her plants in one of his vacant rooms. Maomao is not willing to do so because she doesn’t want to use Jinshi’s rooms as a plant storage facility. 

This entices the two to have a meaningful discussion regarding nobles, commoners, and missed opportunities. Afterward, Suiren has Maomao visit an establishment to collect medicine for her. At this location, Maomao tells the worker she’s come to collect medicine. While she waits, she compares this place to the rear palace’s pharmacy. 

She desperately wants to rummage through this establishment’s medicine cabinets. After fangirling at the idea of it all, a court lady Maomao previously met named Suirei approaches her and wonders what she’s doing here. A man approaches Suirei and asks her to state her business. Suirei says she’s come to resupply the guardhouse with medicine. 

Maomao ponders Suirei’s relation to the military and wonders why Suirei hates her. Maomao receives the medicine, delivers it to Suiren, and continues working. She ponders what the medicine is being used for and Jinshi’s status and mysterious activities. Jinshi and Gaoshun discuss Maomao’s connection with Luomen and Luomen’s past work and eunuch status. 

Then, Lakan arrives and tells Jinshi he wants to continue discussing the courtesan topic with him. Lakan tells Jinshi that he stole his “prize” from him and wants Jinshi to give it back. Further, Lakan is willing to pay a hefty price for it but is willing to abandon the prize if Jinshi refuses to let it go. 

Lakan brings up his “daughter’s” feelings about the situation to Jinshi. Based on this statement, Jinshi learns that Lakan is Maomao’s true father. Lakan leaves but tells Jinshi he’ll be visiting his daughter soon. Jinshi notices Maomao nearby and tells her that Lakan wants to meet with her. Maomao gives Jinshi a distasteful reaction. 

This entices Jinshi to revoke his previous statement. He promises Maomao that he’ll turn down Lakan’s demands. Maomao thanks Jinshi and departs, however, she’s upset that Jinshi discovered the truth. Afterward, Maomao stumbles upon a plant garden and starts fangirling over it. Suirei notices Maomao and promises she won’t get her in trouble. 

Maomao and Suirei discuss this garden’s importance and Suirei’s ties to it. Suirei says she’s received permission to plant things here but doesn’t know if she’s in charge of looking after this garden. Suirei tells Maomao she’s planting something that can aid her in developing a medicine to resurrect people. 

Maomao confronts Suirei about it, but Suirei says she was joking. Suirei and Maomao briefly discuss Maomao’s apothecary skills and Suirei’s future gardening plans. The episode closes with a shot of the outer pavilion. 

The Episode Review

Despite the episode being named after Lakan, we don’t get to see him crop up that much in this chapter. While this is a bit underwhelming, fans will appreciate this chapter for providing them with a solid confirmation about one of the show’s main questions. That question is, “Is Lakan Maomao’s true father?”

Thankfully, they didn’t need Maury Povich to confirm that answer, as we received a solid confirmation that Lakan is Maomao’s father. Since that’s the case, fans may speculate if Lakan happens to be the same man shown in Maomao’s nightmare sequence. While that event could be fictitious, based on what we know of Lakan’s character it wouldn’t be farfetched for him to want to eliminate Maomao. 

Hopefully, a future chapter will explore their connection further though. Additionally, Maomao’s interest in Suirei’s bluff about resurrection medicine may fascinate folks. It’s possible she was interested in that idea because she wanted to bring someone back to life. While this anime has delved into supernatural-like topics before, it’d be unfitting to include something like that here. 

Overall, this episode was an intriguing one. It gave fans great answers and presented them with more questions to contemplate. Hopefully, we’ll receive proper answers to those questions in due time. 

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You can read our Season 1 Review of The Apothecary Diaries here!


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